Terrifying Prospects
This Muslim American Life: Dispatches from the War on Terror

Radwan, Noha
Date Written:  2016-07-01
Publisher:  Against the Current
Year Published:  2016
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX21453

Book review of Moustafa Bayoumi's This Muslim American Life: Dispatches from the War on Terror.



The book is arranged into four sections. The first, "Muslims in History," investigates the history of a 1920 Syrian community in Manhattan, of Muslim African slaves brought to America in 17th and 18th centuries, and of the connections, spiritual as well as cultural, between Muslim Americans and African Americans. "Islam in this country is about as old as Virgina," this section sufficiently demonstrates. (29)

The following section, "Muslims in Theory," draws on Edward Said's Orientalism in which he demonstrated how both academic as well as mass media venues have produced knowledge about Arabs and Muslims from ideological positions to reinforce Western hegemony and advance the pursuit of colonialism.

The War on Terror, Bayoumi argues, is an extension of this ideologically prejudiced form of knowledge production - not only a stupid war, but a war designed to make us stupid. It blinds us to the American and Israeli imperialist and colonialist goals in the Middle East, which resort to brute force with little or no outcry at home.
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